Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Only Showing Readability Statistics.

Only Showing Readability Statistics

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 1, 2015)


When you do a grammar check on your document, the very last step performed by Word is to display a set of readability statistics that you can use to analyze the presentation of your content. There may be times when you want to only display the readability statistics, without going through the complete grammar check first. Unfortunately, Word does not provide a way to do this. You can, however, create a macro that will display the readability statistics quite nicely. The heart of such a macro would be the ReadabilityStatistics collection.

To get an idea how such a macro could be written, consider the following single-line macro:

Sub CheckTest()
    MsgBox ActiveDocument.Content.ReadabilityStatistics(9).Value
End Sub

This macro displays a number that represents the Flesch Reading Ease value, ninth member of the ReadabilityStatistics collection. There are 10 individual elements in the collection, as follows:

Index Meaning
1 Words
2 Characters
3 Paragraphs
4 Sentences
5 Sentences per Paragraph
6 Words per Sentence
7 Characters per Word
8 Passive Sentences
9 Flesch Reading Ease
10 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

To display all ten statistics (as would be done in a complete grammar check of your document), all you need to do is have your macro step through the various members of the collection and display their values. The following macro does just that:

Sub Readability()
    Dim DocStats As String
    Dim MBTitle As String
    Dim J As Integer

    MBTitle = "Readability Statistics"
    DocStats = ""
    With ActiveDocument.Content
        For J = 1 to 10
            DocStats = DocStats & .ReadabilityStatistics(J)
            DocStats = DocStats & ": "
            DocStats = DocStats & .ReadabilityStatistics(J).Value
            DocStats = DocStats & vbCrLf
        Next J
    End With
    MsgBox DocStats, vbOKOnly, MBTitle
End Sub

When you run the macro, understand that it takes a bit of time to run. In fact, depending on the speed of your system, the length of your document, and its complexity, it can take quite a bit of time to run. Be patient; once the ten statistics are completed, they are displayed on the screen.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10666) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Only Showing Readability Statistics.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is eight more than 8?

2017-01-04 16:34:30


Hi Guys,
This Macro used to work for me. But after I upgraded my word to 2013 it started showing incorrect readability score. From what I can see is, its not reading the complete document. That could be the reason of difference in readability through this Macro and Spell Check.
Can someone help me troubleshoot this? Thanks in advance

2016-03-02 12:07:32


It works like a charm, except for the passive sentences. For some reason, it does not identify any. The result is 0.

2015-09-02 14:06:00

George Kelley

I liked the tip, worked perfectly.

2015-09-01 11:57:33

Benjamin C. Morin

I get my readability results by adding the "Show Readability Statistics" under the Proofing option of the Word Options list. See below:

Click on File.
Click on Options.
Click on Proofing.
Then, under the heading: When correcting Spelling and Grammar in Word,
check the box for "Show Readability Statistics".

Then Click OK.

So now you are set.

In your document, click the Review Tab on the Ribbon, then under the Proofing Group, click Spelling and Grammar. (If you are a keyboard user, simply press F7 while on the document). This will give you the Readability Statistic box which includes all the items under the general Statistics box. Of course, it will check spelling and grammar in the process. I hope this helps someone.


2015-09-01 09:01:17

brian Crane

What a great macro. As a writer I find very useful indeed.

2015-08-01 07:38:58

Juan Pablo

You Allen Wyatt are the freaking man. That worked flawlessly. Thanks a trillion man and keep up the good work!

2014-12-09 11:28:21

John LaShell

When I run the Macro, I get this response.

"ToolsGrammarStatisticsArray cannot be run on a document that contains more than one language format."

Then it wants me to debug the program, which I don't know how to do. I don't have a bunch of other languages, but there are a couple of words in Sanskrit in the document. However, I'm typing in English, so it should just think of them as misspellings.

2014-03-21 07:59:11

Rod Briault

Searching for answers as to why despite having ensured the various settings were correct the readability statistics in Word 2010 never showed, I came across this macro. Certain that I still wouldn't see the stats I nevertheless copied the code given and ran the macro. To my amazement, seconds later up popped the much sought after stats. Hating the need to go through the full grammar and spell check this was just what I required. A big thank you.

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